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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #13: Darren Stein’s ‘G.B.F.’ Is a Big Teen Comedy On an Indie Budget

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #13: Darren Stein's 'G.B.F.' Is a Big Teen Comedy On an Indie Budget

Darren Stein was once a G.B.F. in his youth — a Gay Best Friend to a teenage girl. “G.B.F.”, the latest film from the director of 1999’s “Jawbreaker,” is one of the first teen comedies that follows a gay protagonist. The film, which was recently our Project of the Day, features newcomers including Michael J. Willett who played a small part on Showtime’s “United States of Tara,” as well as cameos from Megan Mullally and Natasha Lyonne. Stein hopes that “G.B.F.” will be a delightful throwback to the 80s teen comedies that inspired it.

What it’s about: It’s about a closeted gay high school kid who becomes the must-have accessory of the three clique queens who rule the school.

About the filmmaker: I’m the Gay Best Friend to a former mean girl. I was born at
the former Cedars of Lebanon hospital in the heart of Hollywood which is
now a Scientology compound. I was raised in the valley where I made
movies on a camcorder like many child filmmakers in the 80s. I’m most
known for directing the 90s teen film “Jawbreaker.”

What else do you want audiences to know about your film? It’s a teen movie with a gay protagonist which is something we haven’t
seen in a mainstream(ish) teen comedy. I’m hoping it gets a big enough
release so it can be seen by teen girls everywhere, the GBFs who love
them, the Moms who live through them and teen movie lovers of all
persuasions. It’s got a fun ensemble of up-and-comers and cameos by
Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Rebecca Gayheart, Horatio Sanz and
Jonathan Silverman. It’s also got an 80s and 90s influenced soundtrack
featuring a shoegazer version of Spandau Ballet’s True. Fingers crossed
that the rights are cleared by the time you read this.

What was your biggest challenge in developing this project? Our biggest challenge was making a film that looks and feels like a big teen comedy on an indie film budget.

What would you like Tribeca audiences to come away with after seeing your film? I want the audience to come away with that warm and gauzy feeling you get after watching a teen film you love.

Did any specific films inspire you? “Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Dazed and
Confused,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Valley Girl” (which features
Josie Cotton singing “Johnny Are You Queer” at Prom).

What do you have in the works? A movie called “The Female Lead” about a famous actress and her
son who wants to be her. It’s a mother/son story told through the
distorted lens of Hollywood. If it were to become a modern day “Mommie
Dearest,” I wouldn’t be mad at that. I’m also writing the libretto for
the stage musical of “Jawbreaker.” It’s been in the works for several
years but we’ve finally worked out the rights with the studio. We’ll be
having a workshop in New York in the Fall.

invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films,
including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re
doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.

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